No, I’m not a liar. I’m just not really used to this whole “pantsing” thing that people talk about for Nanowrimo.

I’m a note taker and a list maker. I make lists of things to research. I fill my research materials with little post-its with notes, and flag the interesting bits that i want to copy. I make outlines, and then I rewrite my outlines. I map out timelines and sketch pertinent details. I prefer visiting locations before I write about them.

This year, I’ve done none of that. I did have a working outline for this story, but decided that it was all wrong and scrapped it. I was starting in the wrong place on the timeline. My main character wasn’t well developed enough. I added a major character and two out two supporting ones. The shift caused a drastic change in my world building, and I suddenly find myself needing to know all about dirigibles and zeppelins, and the difference between the two before this entire venture turns into the Hindenburg and I go down in flames on November 2.

I’ve got two backup plans if I can’t get my research for this story knocked out in time. Both take place in worlds that I have already researched, so the lack of outline is less of an issue. One is the sequel to the book I wrote my first Nano, the second is straight-up historical fiction that falls into the same geography/time period that I’ve been researching for both the historical society and another novel.

I keep telling myself that panic is normal this time of year. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be looking for a fire extinguisher.